An officer following up on a tip found the body of Jonathan Pitka in a “shed-like building in the area of Front Street” on May 12, according to Acting Bethel Police Chief Amy Davis. Davis does not suspect foul play, and the body of the 34-year-old Pitka has been sent to the State Medical Examiner in Anchorage for autopsy. Bethel Police received a missing person report for Pitka on April 21.

Parents contacted the Lower Kuskokwim School District staff this past September with suspicions that their children might be involved in dealing or buying marijuana edibles.
Dean Swope / KYUK

Bethel Regional High School will have a new principal next school year. The Bethel Advisory School Board is interviewing two candidates for the position on May 13, and the public is invited to join the virtual meeting to listen and ask questions. Both candidates currently work in the school district and have held multiple school administrative positions.

Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The Calista Corporation is spearheading an effort to form a federally-recognized regional tribal government in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The regional native corporation says that tribes have requested the corporation’s support in this endeavor.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Bethel's taxi cab system was a big issue in the May 12 city council meeting. The council introduced an ordinance that would allow the city manager to extend the COVID-19 cab fare structure, but rejected a proposal to permanently move to a meter system. 

The KYUK staff poses for a group photo in December 2019 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Springtime means journalism awards season, and the season has brought KYUK national, regional, and statewide honors for work produced in 2019. KYUK won a national first place award from the Associated Press Television and Radio Association, two 2020 Regional Edward R. Murrow awards, and 13 statewide Alaska Press Club awards.

Courtesy of Jacob Tobeluk

While many communities along the Kuskokwim River escaped major flooding, one small village is still seeing high water. One Nunapitchuk resident, Moses Tobeluk, spoke on KYUK's morning show about the flooding. 

Bethel City Council has postponed voting on the Uniform Remote Sellers Sales Tax Code, which would enable the city to collect taxes on purchases made by Bethel residents online. Council will revisit the issue on April 14.
City of Bethel

Bethel City Council will meet May 12 to consider three proposals related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first ordinance, introduced last week, would allocate $60,000 for homeslessness services. An earlier story on KYUK incorrectly said that the allocation was already approved. The council did introduce that ordinance at the May 5 meeting, but will listen to public testimony before voting on that ordinance tonight.

Amy Davis

Acting Bethel Police Chief Amy Davis is leaving her job and leaving town, but she said that she will stay until the city hires a replacement. She wants to help the new police chief get started before she moves on.

Salmon caught during a rare gillnet opening on the Kuskokwim River on June 24, 2017.
Teresa Cotsirilos / KYUK

Management of the Yukon River summer salmon season is in flux. Some of that is normal. No one ever knows whether the fish will show up in the numbers predicted. But there is a new factor. This year, the state and the river communities are looking at how best to monitor salmon, while at the same time keeping local people safe from the coronavirus pandemic. 

The playground at the Gladys Jung Elementary School on March 16. The school’s principal was charged with possession of child pornography, attempted coercion of a child and sexual abuse of a minor.
Katie Basile / KYUK

For some parents, it was the gifts from the principal to young girls and their families that gave them pause. A few too many presents that cost a little too much money. Then began the late-night Facebook messages.